Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Great Job, Thank You Coach Comm

I ordered the new Tempest sideline communication system from Coach Comm a week ago, and Adam Frank of Coach Comm came into town this past Friday and installed the system in our current Coach Comm trunk, along with our NG system.

We had frequency problems at home against NAU and I felt that our older technology had seen its better days, so I confirmed that with Frank Hiett at Coach Comm and we went ahead and bought the new Tempest system. After the game against Stanford, no one was happier than Coach Stoops, and maybe Benny Conger and Mike Valentine. When Coach Stoops headset works well it is better for everyone!

Benny and the managers do an OUTSTANDING job with Coach Comm communication every single game and it can be taken for granted most of the time; but when there are problems, you realize how good we have it most of the time.

There is no better outfit than Coach Comm to take care of all your communication needs! I have been very fortunate to have a close relationship with them since we went wireless with them back in 1997 when I was with Washington State University. I just remember how happy our coaches were at WSU that year, and even happier when we went to the Rose Bowl. I still give much of the credit to Coach Comm and of course, Ryan Leaf.

Anyway, Channel 4 came out to do a story on our set up, and it was ironic that they did the story on the day that we launched Tempest. By the way, we had ZERO problems this game!

Click on the link below to see the story:


Monday, September 19, 2011

Another Great Job by the Equipment Staff

Well, the outcome of the game was not what we wanted, but we felt really good about our preparation for the game! Our 8 new students, and 1 new full time assistant now have a few weeks and a few games under their belts and it is making a HUGE difference!

I have always said, my number one role is to surround myself with great people, and I have done that! We have an OUTSTANDING equipment staff and I couldn't be any happier with our work and attitude.

Our staff does an incredible job each week in making sure we have our team ready to play the game. I think what I like the most is they get the job done and seem to have a GREAT time doing it. I have said this before, but we have awesome leadership and 8 incredible new managers that are picking things up rapidly!

I have told many people close to me that I can't remember the last time I had this much fun coming to work. It is so much fun to see things come together as planned.

Like I said, we sure wish the outcome of the game was better, but we see our team improving after playing such a tough schedule. This will be the third Top 10 team in a row that we have had to play. Many of our younger players are really getting an opportunity to learn the college game at an extremely high level.

Below are some pictures of our work this past Saturday in our game against Stanford.

Kristen Javens, a freshman from Chicago, cleans a pair of shoes for the game:

Derek Janssen helps clear out trunks from the locker room to give us more room to work:

Michael Barnett sprays a little ReekOut on a pair of game gloves:

Kristen checks a pair of game gloves before the team arrives:

David Bodzin moves trunks from the locker room to the hallway before we take them to the sideline:

Jordan Aronson, a freshman from Boston MA area, helps get the locker room set up properly.

Mike Valentine double checks each locker before the team arrives to the stadium:

Many home game weekends, we host recruits from all over the nation, and I always speak to them before the team arrives at to the locker room:

This is what we set up to display equipment for our recruits:

Dana Cooper, of IMG, always checks to make sure communication is set for post game locker room interviews:

Longtime friend, Andre Moore of Houston, TX, came to Tucson to spend the weekend and game with me:

This is what the recruits saw when they walked in the team locker room:

Friday, September 16, 2011

Lending a Hand

As fun as yesterday was, the fun just gets better by the hour! Today is day before the game, and the excitement really starts to pick up!

The managers started showing up for their duties at 8am this morning in our home locker room, where we dropped of the player bags last night.

Then, at 10:30am, we met Stanford's equipment manager, Gary Hazelitt and his truck drivers to help them unload their equipment into their locker room. Gary is not only a GREAT equipment manager, but a really GREAT guy. I enjoy Gary as much as any other equipment manager! I always learn something new from him, and I ALWAYS laugh at his humor.

We will finish up with all of the player's lockers later this afternoon and we will have security set up at the locker room and set our alarms until we return tomorrow to finish up our work.

Below are some pictures of work going on over at Arizona Stadium this morning.

Painters work on south endzone this morning in preparation of tomorrow nights game against Stanford:

Looks like painters are working on one of the two Pac 12 logos on the playing field:

More painters working hard the day before the game! Here, they are working on the A at midfield:

This is our old video board, which we still use, in the north end of our stadium. The next picture will show you the difference with our new video board:

This is the new south end video board, as you can see, it is a considerable upgrade!

Stanford's equipment truck arrived to our stadium at around 10:30am today.

David Bodzin carries in sodas from the Stanford equipment truck:

Brennan Smith helps unload Stanford player bags into their locker room:

Gary Hazelitt, hand on truck, is Stanford's Head Equipment Manager, and a dang good one at that!

Benny working hard as usual, assisting Stanford with unloading their truck:

Robert Lloyd assist with some of Stanford's players bags:

Matt Sterling, one of our student equipment room assistants, helps Stanford unload this morning.

Amber Sipe, freshman from right here in Tucson (CDO H.S.), works on the helmet of one of her players this morning during her designated time to work in the locker room:

Thursday, September 15, 2011


You can feel it when you arrive on campus every single Thursday of a home football game weekend........it is time to play some football!!!!!!

Even when you get on campus real early in the morning, even before sunrise, you can feel it! Whether it is all the traffic directional markings out on the roads leading in to campus, or all the party rental tent companies putting up tents, you can just feel the excitement starting to swirl.

You can count on it, a little later this morning, there will be lines at the ticket office upstairs of people snatching up the remaining tickets. Visitors will start stopping by the equipment room, especially former players. It is just exciting!

Enterprise dropped off our equipment truck early this morning for us to use for hauling all the equipment to the stadium. Just another sign game time is getting close.

Well, as things pick up around campus, it also picks up here in the equipment room. Each Thursday morning of game week, 3 or 4 managers will come in between classes and put tape on our shoulder pads. Since we do not wear shoulder pads on Thursday practices, we started to tape on Thursday mornings just to better utilize our time. The tape will stay on the shoulder pads this way until Saturday when we start pulling jerseys onto the pads right before the team arrives to the stadium locker room from the hotel.

Below are a few pictures of 3 of our AWESOME student managers that have volunteered to come in and help out.

Brennan Smith, a freshman from here in Tucson, is putting tape on of the players we tape for every single game.

Robert Lloyd, one of our leaders and a senior from the Bay Area, is coming in and doing extra work as usual! Robert is doing a fantastic job in so many ways and so many areas. He will be hard to replace!

David Bodzin, another senior, is from Texas and is ALWAYS willing to come in and lend a hand! When we asked about people who could come in on Thursdays to help tape pads, David was first one to raise his hand, as usual.
Here, David is very careful to get the tape on the correct way.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Well, the team didn't play at their best, and it did not help we were playing one of the best teams in the country at their place, before a very hostile crowd. It was a great college football environment for a Thursday night ESPN game.

Even though the game did not turn out great for the Wildcats, our equipment staff did a GREAT job and the entire trip was very smooth and successful.

As usual, our student managers did an OUTSTANDING job of getting our team ready to play. Benny Conger and Mike Valentine also did a GREAT job of leading our students into action. We are so fortunate and blessed to have such good people in our equipment operations!

Below are some pictures of our work to get our team ready to compete against the Cowboys.

David Bodzin starts out the process soon after we arrive the night before the game by unpacking player travel bags in to lockers:

Benny and the managers did a GREAT job of getting our truck unloaded into our locker room on Wednesday night:

Wes Edwards, head equipment manager at OSU, and his GREAT staff did a tremendous job with hospitality for us:

Jordan Gobel pushes trunks to the locker room, as Benny goes back to the truck compound to get more:

Lots of TV trucks in Stillwater for the game against the Cowboys:
Bob and Bob, the two best drivers in the world, had to be spotted in the truck loading dock area by 9am on Wednesday. ESPN actually did two separate broadcast of the game and there were many trucks in the compound!

Our newest staff member, Mike Valentine, assist with off loading our truck on Wednesday evening:

The managers set out helmets that need touching up with paint soon after we unload into a visiting locker room:

Trunk 27 is our extra helmet trunk. We have to make sure we have back ups if we need them during a game: or while we are on the road:

Benny is our touch up pro of the staff!

After each managers makes a list of their players that need touching up with paint, they set their helmets out on the night before the game so Mike and Benny can make them look real nice!

Mike touches up a helmet on Wednesday night when we set everything out:

David Bodzin pulls a jersey over a set of pads:

I pose in a picture with one of the true legends in our profession, Jim "Shorty" Kleinau. Shorty worked with Mike Stoops while Coach was at Kansas State.

Billy gets something out of a container in Trunk 3, one of our most valuable trunks on the road that Michael Barnett is in charge of packing for each trip. Mike does an OUTSTANDING job with Trunk #3

Mike double checks some paper work before he moves on his list, as Billy puts out valuable bags in each players locker:

Jordan gets Earl's jersey ready for the game against the Cowboys:

Robert pulls Kadeem Carey's jersey over his pads before the team arrives:

Mike enjoys his work on a pair of shoulder pads:

These are two of the coaches trunks that I unload to set up lockers for our coaches:

Billy and Robert get shoulder pads ready before they pull jerseys over the pads:

Jordan pulls another jersey over a pair of pads in preparation:

Billy putting two clothes hangers in each players locker so they have a way to hang up what they wear to the stadium:

Mike Barnett puts some finishing touches on a pair of game shoes before the team arrives: